He would have to prove that the farmer was in default deliberately, that he was able to do something; and he would have to prove it, which would be something entirely beyond his knowledge. You are putting upon him an onus, under this section, that I submit should be upon the farmer, the man for whose benefit all these proceedings are devised, the man who gets the benefit of this legislation. Here you reverse the whole procedure and place upon the creditor the burden of getting what the court has said was his right. You are really putting the cart before the horse. I submit that the whole procedure is wrong; it is contrary to the principles of the act itself and contrary to justice. It is not fair. This section should be redrafted in such.a way that the farmer, who is in default on his own proposition, is the one who must come to the court and get some readjustment or rearrangement. He should have to discharge the onus of proving what might be fair and equitable and just. Here the whole procedure is reversed, and this adds another objection to this act which I submit is worthy of consideration. I see many added difficulties, obstacles and delays in the way of a creditor getting his rights under this act. As I have said, I think this clause is drafted the wrong way about. The procedure should be quite the opposite to that laid down under this section.
Then as to subsection 2, the proposition is that he may be thrown into bankruptcy. I do not propose to deal with that just now, but if the creditor goes through all this procedure then the farmer is right back where he was before. The extension or compromise or scheme is set aside; the farmer is back where he started, and in addition to any other remedy the creditor might have, he must start all over again. This is the third round for him. The farmer has brought him in the first time. The creditor has had to bring the farmer in the second time, and now he has to start all over again. I do submit to the minister that this is putting too many obstacles in the way of the creditor. It is making it too difficult and it is increasing the hardships already manifest in the operation and administration of this act. It adds to the long delays that are
Farmers' Creditors Act
inherent in the act as drafted. In my opinion it simply encourages the dilatory man to go along and default in his arrangement or compromise in the scheme set out for him and see how long he can get away with it, how long it will be before some creditor will go through this procedure of bringing him before a judge. The onus of proof is on the creditor. It seems to me that is an unreasonable provision. I contend that in this extension we are providing another strong argument for the repeal of this act as soon as possible, at least in Ontario. I am sure the operation of this act under these expanded and amended provisions will create a deep sense of injustice. They will cause delays and add expense to the proceedings. I submit that the section has been drafted on the wrong basis.
Subtopic: BOARDS OF REVIEW, TIME LIMIT FOR FILING PROPOSALS, ETC.